Simply in Season

News and reflections on all that's good about local food
from the co-author of Simply in Season,
a World Community Cookbook in the spirit of More-with-Less

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Waiting time

As of Monday spring has officially arrived, but I’m afraid the Simply in Season recipe of the week, Roasted Asparagus, will be, for most of us, mostly an exercise in wishful thinking.

Here in the Willamette Valley, the daffodils are up and the plum trees are all in pink but we're still only dreaming of most spring foods. An hour ago I wandered out to our asparagus bed from which my husband and I hope to eat for the first time this year -- very exciting, as we’ve never before stayed anywhere long enough to establish an asparagus bed -- but no, there’s not a sign of anything poking through the soil. Not yet.

True, a few spring foods are ready. Chives came up in the garden and our local farmers market -- held indoors between January and April 1 -- now offers bags of huge, beautiful spinach leaves: a nice change after months of hardy greens like collards and kale.

I've been in conversation with folks in Minnesota, where I'll be a guest at the May 13 Twin Cities Mennonite World Relief Sale. They're still having blizzards and we're not sure how many local spring foods will be available to use in sample recipes by May. Yet it seems like fresh greens are always the first to arrive. After the dark and grey of winter, eating those greens is like eating sunlight.

We’re more than midway through Lent, and in more ways than one it seems to me that we're still in the waiting time, with the promise of so many good things to come. I feel this way about Simply in Season in general. Producing the book has been like planting seeds -- seeds of ideas we hope will result in a better world -- and now we wait to see how those seeds will grow. Will these ideas be carried beyond our first small fields? Will we realize a harvest of changed attitudes, habits and lives?

To help the seed ideas take root, I'm especially excited by the work currently underway on a curriculum that uses Simply in Season as its textbook. Designed for use in small groups, Sunday school classes, youth and intergenerational settings, etc., the upcoming curriculum -- now being tested -- will help people explore in depth the contemporary food issues raised in the cookbook. Watch for more details about it in coming months.

Blessings to all in this time of waiting and new birth.


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